IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ecj/econjl/v112y2002i481p459-480.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Fiscal Theory Of The Price Level: A Critique

Author

Listed:
  • Willem H. Buiter

    (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, CEPR and NBER)

Abstract

This paper argues that the "fiscal theory of the price level" (FTPL) has feet of clay. The source of the problem is a fundamental "economic" misspecification. The FTPL confuses two key building blocks of a model of a market economy: budget constraints, which must be satisfied identically, and market clearing or equilibrium conditions. The FTPL asssumes that the government"s intertemporal budget constraint needs to be satisfied only "in equilibrium". This economic misspecification has far--reaching implications for the mathematical properties of the equilibria supported by models that impose the structure of the FTPL. It produces a rash of contradictions and anomalies. Copyright 2002 Royal Economic Society

Suggested Citation

  • Willem H. Buiter, 2002. "The Fiscal Theory Of The Price Level: A Critique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 459-480, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:481:p:459-480
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=synergy&synergyAction=showTOC&journalCode=ecoj&volume=112&issue=481&year=2002&part=null
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Buiter, Willem H., 1999. "The Fallacy of the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," CEPR Discussion Papers 2205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. John H. Cochrane, 1999. "A Frictionless View of U.S. Inflation," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 323-421 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Willem H. Buiter, 1998. "The Young Person's Guide to Neutrality, Price Level Indeterminacy, Interest Rate Pegs, and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level," NBER Working Papers 6396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michael Woodford, 1998. "Doing Without Money: Controlling Inflation in a Post-Monetary World," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 173-219, January.
    5. Cochrane, John H, 2001. "Long-Term Debt and Optimal Policy in the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 69-116, January.
    6. McCallum, Bennett T., 2001. "Indeterminacy, bubbles, and the fiscal theory of price level determination," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 19-30, February.
    7. Woodford, Michael, 1995. "Price-level determinacy without control of a monetary aggregate," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-46, December.
    8. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2001. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1221-1238, December.
    10. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
    11. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
    12. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(3), pages 345-380.
    13. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(3), pages 381-399.
    14. John H. Cochrane, 2000. "Money as Stock: Price Level Determination with no Money Demand," NBER Working Papers 7498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Dupor, Bill, 2000. "Exchange rates and the fiscal theory of the price level," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 613-630, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:481:p:459-480. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.